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Apple juice really cooks, from salad through dessert

Published Sep. 1, 2005

(ran ST, NP editions)

Cookbook author Caprial Pence and her husband John Pence have been using apple juice in their summer cooking, and three of their recipes follow for home cooks to try.

"Apple juice is a great ingredient for recipes because it provides a nice, sweet note of flavor with just the right balance," they say. Apples and their flavor lend themselves to so many applications, too, they find.

Caprial's cookbooks include Caprial! Cooking for Friends and Cooking with Caprial. Her first PBS-TV cooking series Cooking with Caprial, has been followed by Cooking with Caprial & John _ on which her husband joins her as host. The Pences are based in Portland, Ore., where they own a bistro and cooking school.

These recipes produce a salad, a main dish and a dessert, to serve together or to team with other dishes, as desired. The flavors are versatile and preparation is straightforward.

This refreshing salad would be easy to put together any time of year. The balance of apple juice, vinegar and olive oil minimizes any sharpness in the spinach. The dressing can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to use.

Dressed with an apple-sweet glaze, tender roast pork can make a special centerpiece for entertaining family and friends. The dish is prepared in stages _ making the glaze, searing the pork, and glazing and roasting the pork. You can make the glaze a day ahead of time.

Note: the glaze in this recipe also goes well with chicken.

And sabayon, a French cousin of the Italian dessert zabaglione, is made by beating egg yolks with a liquid over simmering water until thickened and increased in volume.

This airy dish would be a welcome finale for a small dinner party or special occasion.

Spinach Salad With Apple Hazelnut Dressing

8 ounces apple juice

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

3 dashes Worcestershire sauce

3 dashes Tabasco sauce

Juice of 1 lemon

6 ounces extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons toasted hazelnuts, chopped

3 bunches spinach, washed and drained

Salt and black pepper to taste

{ medium red onion, sliced

1 apple, cored and sliced

In a medium-size saucepan on high heat, add apple juice and cook on high for approximately 15 minutes until 4 tablespoons (or \ cup) of the liquid remains. Be careful not to overcook it. Pour the apple juice into a small stainless-steel bowl and let cool. Add garlic, mustard, vinegar, Worcestershire, Tabasco and lemon juice. Whisk olive oil in slowly; add toasted chopped hazelnuts. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Pour over spinach; toss and garnish with red onion and apple.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Developed by Caprial and John Pence for Tree Top Inc.

Roast Pork With Apple Juice-Honey Mustard Glaze

3-pound pork loin roast

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 cups apple juice

\ cup honey

1 tablespoon dry oregano

1 teaspoon dry rubbed sage

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Salt and black pepper to taste

To make the glaze: Add 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, onions and garlic to a medium-size saucepan and cook on high heat for 3 minutes. Add apple juice and cook until 1 cup of liquid remains, about 15 minutes. Add honey, dry oregano and dry rubbed sage. Continue to cook until glaze is syrupy-thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Add the Dijon mustard, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, salt and black pepper to taste. Remove from heat.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Place a large saute pan on stove top. On high heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and sear pork on all sides for about 5 minutes. Place in oven and roast about 30 to 45 minutes or until internal temperature shows approximately 135 F on an instant-read thermometer; glaze pork 3 or 4 times during roasting process. Slice roast and serve.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Developed by Caprial and John Pence for Tree Top Inc.

Fresh Fruit Sabayon Dessert

8 egg yolks

1 teaspoon dry ground ginger

cup brandy

1 cup apple juice

\ cup brown sugar

\ cup sugar

{ teaspoon vanilla

1 cup fresh or frozen berries (such as raspberries, blueberries and strawberries)

Place the egg yolks, ginger, brandy, apple juice, brown sugar, sugar and vanilla in a metal mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Place over simmering water in a saucepan. Do not allow the water to touch the bottom of the bowl.

Whisk the sabayon while cooking for about 5 minutes or until thick. The sabayon should look like very softly whipped cream and should coat the back of a spoon. Place a quarter cup of berries in each of 4 large wineglasses and pour the sabayon over the berries, dividing it equally. Serve warm.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Developed by Caprial and John Pence for Tree Top Inc.